A novel metal-free quinoxaline-based molecular framework with a dual donor and dual acceptor (DD-π-AA) motif has been introduced. Four sensitizers (AP6
, and AP12
) have been synthesized and fully characterized via UV–Vis absorption, cyclic voltammetry, density functional theory (DFT) calculations, time-correlated single photon counting (TCSPC), and in dye-sensitized solar cell (DSC) devices. Structural modifications to both the donor and acceptor/anchor regions were evaluated via structure–property relationships without altering the quinoxaline π-bridge. Through careful dye design, a broadly absorbing near-infrared (NIR) sensitizer extending electricity production to 800 nm is realized in DSC devices. Ground- and excited-state oxidation potentials were measured to show energetically favorable charge transfer events. Importantly, the dye structure was found to have a strong influence on dye energetics in different environments with structural elements allowing for either similar or dramatically different solution versus film measurements. The DSC device electrolyte was also found to have a significant influence on dye energetics as well. Electron transfer events were probed for each dye with DSC device measurements and with TCSPC studies. The results are correlated to the dye structures.
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